Those Who Can't Sort, Steal: Caste, Occupational Mobility, and Rent-Seeking in Rural India
Nicholas Lawson () and
Dean Spears ()
Additional contact information
Nicholas Lawson: Princeton University
Dean Spears: University of Texas at Austin
No 12538, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
Three important features of Indian labor markets enduringly coexist: rent-seeking, occupational immobility, and caste. These facts are puzzling, given theories that predict static, equilibrium social inequality without conflict. Our model explains these facts as an equilibrium outcome. Some people switch caste-associated occupations for an easier source of rents, rather than for productivity. This undermines trust between castes and shuts down occupational mobility, which further encourages rent-seeking due to an inability of workers to sort into occupations. We motivate our contribution with novel stylized facts exploiting a unique survey question on casteism in India, which we show is associated with rent-seeking.
Keywords: caste; occupational mobility; rent-seeking; India; labour markets in developing countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O15 J71 J24 J47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-lma
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12538
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().